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AFP
July 2, 2018

Turkey’s ancient temple site gets Unesco heritage status

World

AFP
July 2, 2018

ANKARA: A Turkish ancient temple site in southeastern Anatolia was given UNESCO World Heritage status on Sunday, the UN agency announced at a meeting in the Bahraini capital Manama.

Named Gobekli Tepe (Potbelly Hill), the site is the world’s oldest known megalithic structure located in Upper Mesopotamia and is some 11,000 years old. The site, considered to be the world’s oldest temple, is in the present-day southeastern province of Sanliurfa and reopened to tourists earlier this year after restoration work was undertaken including a protective roof for the site. The site contains “monumental circular and rectangular megalithic structures, interpreted as enclosures, which were erected by hunter-gatherers in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic age between 9,600 and 8,200 BC”, UNESCO said in a statement. “It is likely that these monuments were used in connection with rituals, probably of a funerary nature,” it added. On the “distinctive” T-shaped large pillars, there are images of wild animals, which UNESCO said provided “insight into the way of life and beliefs of people living in Upper Mesopotamia about 11,500 years ago”.

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